Dietary magnesium and C-reactive protein levels

J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Jun;24(3):166-71. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2005.10719461.


Objective: Current dietary guidelines recommend adequate intake of magnesium (310-420 mg daily) in order to maintain health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent evidence from animal and clinical studies suggests that magnesium may be associated with inflammatory processes. The objective of this study was to determine whether dietary magnesium consumption is associated with C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, in a nationally representative sample.

Methods: Analysis of adult (> or =17 years) participants in a cross-sectional nationally representative survey (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000 [NHANES]) who were not taking magnesium or magnesium-containing supplements. The primary outcome measure was high sensitivity CRP (elevated > or =3.0 mg/L).

Results: Among US adults, 68% consumed less than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium, and 19% consumed less than 50% of the RDA. After controlling for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors, adults who consumed <RDA of magnesium were 1.48-1.75 times more likely to have elevated CRP than adults who consumed > or =RDA (Odds Ratio [OR] for intake <50% RDA = 1.75, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.08-2.87). Adults who were over age 40 with a BMI >25 and who consumed <50% RDA for magnesium were 2.24 times more likely to have elevated CRP (95% CI 1.13-4.46) than adults > or =RDA.

Conclusions: Most Americans consume magnesium at levels below the RDA. Individuals with intakes below the RDA are more likely to have elevated CRP, which may contribute to cardiovascular disease risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnesium / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Odds Ratio


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Magnesium